Real-Time In-Situ Monitoring of a Tunable Pentapeptide Gel–Crystal Transition

Tom Guterman, Maayan Levin, Sofiya Kolusheva, Davide Levy, Nadav Noor, Yael Roichman, Ehud Gazit*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Supramolecular gels often become destabilized by the transition of the gelator into a more stable crystalline phase, but often the long timescale and sporadic localization of the crystalline phase preclude a persistent observation of this process. We present a pentapeptide gel–crystal phase transition amenable for continuous visualization and quantification by common microscopic methods, allowing the extraction of kinetics and visualization of the dynamics of the transition. Using optical microscopy and microrheology, we show that the transition is a sporadic event in which gel dissolution is associated with microcrystalline growth that follows a sigmoidal rate profile. The two phases are based on β-sheets of similar yet distinct configuration. We also demonstrate that the transition kinetics and crystal morphology can be modulated by extrinsic factors, including temperature, solvent composition, and mechanical perturbation. This work introduces an accessible model system and methodology for studying phase transitions in supramolecular gels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15869-15875
Number of pages7
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number44
StatePublished - 28 Oct 2019


FundersFunder number
Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
National Nanotechnology Initiative
Canadian Friends of Tel Aviv University
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme694426
European Research Council
United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation2014314


    • gels
    • microscopy
    • peptides
    • phase transitions
    • self-assembly


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